Weekly Wrap-Up: Shakespeare

It’s a new month, which means a new topic. I thought this month we’d go back to the classics, namely Shakespeare. We did Shakespeare when Mr. Curiosity was in third grade, which is where Miss Adventure is now. Shakespeare is definitely important enough that we can study his life and works multiple times. I do like to cover both aspects of Shakespeare, so I have two types of books that we used this week.

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The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse

Alternate title: Magister Ludi

Published: 1943 in German; I read the 1969 English translation

Genre: science fictionish

Length: 558

Setting: Germany, some indefinite time in the future

Interest: It was recommended somewhere, with some other classic science fiction. I keep trying some of the older stuff so I thought I’d read this book as well. Continue reading

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Under the Blood-Red Sun by Graham Salisbury

Published: 1994

Genre: middle-grade historical fiction

Length: 244 pages

Setting: Hawaii, around the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor

Interest: Mr. Curiosity chose it as his latest bedtime story because it has to do with WWII. I’m sure that’s why I bought the book in the first place. Continue reading

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Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Published: 2000

Genre: middle grade fiction

Length: 182 pages

Setting: Naomi, Florida, probably around the 1970s

Interest: I needed another audio book for a trip to a gymnastics meet. This was a shorter trip, so I needed a shorter book. I knew Kate DiCamillo’s work (we’ve enjoyed her Mercy Watson stories for the picture book age, Bink and Gollie stories for the short chapter book age, and The Tale of Despereaux) so I felt this was likely to be a good book as well. Continue reading

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Paradise Left by Evan Dickon


by Seth Alan Bareiss

Published: April 2013 in Daily Science Fiction, also in audio form at Escape Pod

Genre: science fiction

Length: 7 pages

Setting: Earth after the singularity

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian anthology

Summary: Ashley is a frustrated rebel. She and a group of other like-minded people started a war against the AIs. They won, and have even developed a government. However, Ashley is convinced the AIs lost on purpose. Rob, her boyfriend, doesn’t understand the problem. Society seems to be perfect. I can do anything I want, as long as it doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s rights (the perfect Heinlein society). The AIs just want everyone to be safe.

Final thoughts: As I started reading the story, I recognized it but couldn’t figure out where I had read it before. Turns out it was an Escape Pod episode. The story has an interesting premise. What if the AIs have become smarter than us, but instead of trying to destroy humanity (like we typically see, a la Terminator), they become a benevolent dictator trying to keep us all safe and happy. I do think there would be a portion of the population that wouldn’t be satisfied with safe and happy.

Title comes from: Not an obvious one. Perhaps the AIs have created a Paradise for humanity that some people still want to leave?


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A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski

Published: 1986

Genre: hard science fiction

Length: 403 pages

Setting: mostly the moon Shora, in the world of the Elysium Cycle

Interest: It’s the first book in the Elysium Cycle (followed by Daughter of Elysium). I read The Children Star by Slonczewski and loved it so much I decided to seek out some of her other books. Continue reading

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Pallas by L. Neil Smith

Published: 1993

Genre: science fiction

Length: 448 pages

Setting: the asteroid Pallas, in the future

Interest: It was a random book picked off my Kindle. Continue reading

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